Stopped Taking Sertraline and now having major mood swings and irritability

Posted , 5 users are following.

My friend has been taking sertraline for severe depression for the last 8 months and ran out of his last prescription so chose to not take anymore. Since stopping the medication he states that he feels well in himself and does not feel depressed so is reluctant to take them anymore. We have all noticed however that he is incredibly snappy, angry and swings from being fine to severely aggitated/angry over the smallest things and he is having to apologise to his close family and friends for his behaviour. Some of his friends are not reacting well to it and he is pushing them away. I am wondering if this sounds like a side effect from the medication stopping or does it sound like he is suffering from bi-polar. He goes from being really high mood and chatty to snapping and aggresive in an instant and I am wondering if the sertraline was stabiling the mood. Both myself and my family have tried to say that it would be best to go back on the medication but he does not see anything wrong?

0 likes, 7 replies

7 Replies

  • Posted

    You have to remember that Sertraline is very addictive and just coming straight off it can lead to side effects, and possibly make them go cold turkey.  

    He should go to his doctor for advice. 

    • Posted

      Thanks Lauren and both myself and my husband have explained this but it isn't sinking in! May have to approach the subject again tomorrow!
  • Posted

    I'm not a doctor but definitely don't think he should have just stopped taking need to wean yourself off them gradually...probably what you describe is side effect of stopping suddenly but he should go back to his doctor
  • Posted

    Hi, I can relate to everything you've said. That is withdrawl symptoms from the drug. I'm 3 months out from stopping Sertiline and I went through all of that, I cried everyday all day for the first 3 wks. off with the raging at the same time. I had brain zaps for at least 4-5 wks., I've been to hell and I'm coming back, wouldn't wish this on anybody. Cold turkey is the worst. Your friend knows how he is feeling and should get some help with it. 
  • Posted

    Hi hbeckett, I totally agree with everyones replies. I work in a pharmacy and know that you should never go 'cold turkey' with this medication, as it can lead to side effects such as the ones you are describing. Ideally he should have reduced his dose gradually, at least over a few weeks/ months. Maybe he feels like he doesn't want to rely on medication? I have certainly felt this way, having been on sertraline myself for a year. I think if he hasn't been taking on board what friends and family have been saying, then it's best if he sees his doctor or a pharmacist to discuss his options. Best of luck, Amy.
  • Posted

    Hello all, I would like to thank you all for your posts, advice and replies! Your knowledge and experience has been invaluable! He actually erupted at a family member for no reason at all on Sunday and has since apologised and been to the doctors and has been prescribed more medication and will not ever go cold turkey again! Fingers crossed he will start to feel better soon! Thanks again! 
    • Posted

      Hi again, it's not a problem. I'm so happy to hear that he has seeked help again, and has realised that going cold turkey wasn't the way to go. I wish him all the best on his road to recovery. He's lucky he has a friend like you who clearly cares about him a lot.

      All the best, Amy

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